06 Jun The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
For the past two weeks, I have been embarking on what has been the biggest spiritual cleanse in ages!
Months ago I found this book on my mother’s bedside table, being a quite avid but picky reader I knew it must be good if she had chosen it. I put it on my wish list and then forgot about it. Recently I was drawn to purchase the book and after sitting in my bookcase untouched for another month I was finally drawn to pick it up. When I opened the pages I felt like Harry Potter touching his wand for the first time! White light seemed to rush out the top of the head and my whole body lit up with excitement.
It is not an exaggeration to say that this book has changed my life. After all, as Marie Kondo states “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life”
Such a simple statement yet so profound. When we own objects that do not spark joy, no matter how simple their purpose, we are attracting a meaningless existence. Our shelter, our home, where we spend a great deal of our time should reflect the life we want to live. When we have dull meaningless objects, objects we keep out obligation or objects that we hold on to out of fear, this is exactly what we will attract in our life. Kondo states, ” It is only when we face the things we own one by one and experience the emotions they evoke that we can truly appreciate our relationship with them…If we acknowledge our attachment to the past and our fear for the future by honestly looking at our possessions, we will be able to see what is really important to us. This process, in turn, helps us identify our values and reduces doubt and confusion in making life decisions.”
So I began facing every SINGLE object I owned from the tiniest bobby pin to the largest piece of furniture. This was a large, emotional, and intense project. I don’t suggest you do it alone! I was fortunate to have one of my closest friends Katie Carlyn Ritter accompany me on this journey. In the process of moving out of her apartment to move in with her future husband, the recommendation of this book came at exactly the right time. I was beyond thrilled to have the support of a friend undertaking the same task. For her, it started as just a means of condensing the giant task of packing up all her belongings, and in the end, it turned into so much more.
For both of us, this was a journey through the self, to push away all the debris that was clouding who we really were to get to the root of our being! I could not have been happier when Katie sent me a text describing her revelations and the importance of this purge of material goods.
“I feel like I’m discovering so much about myself. I realize that sounds super dramatic…but I really do feel like I’m peeling away layers and layers of myself and what’s left is who I really am/want to be. And I’m really starting to realize what I like.. which sounds so simple, but clearly is something I have struggled with seeing as I have happily parted with about half of my things during this process!”
I don’t think I could have said it better myself! I think everyone can relate to Katie’s statement. For myself, I have experienced many emotions since stripping away my own layers. I no longer have all that junk distracting me from myself. Upon completing the process my boyfriend turned to me and asked: “What will you do, now that there is nothing left to tidy?” That’s just the point, isn’t it? All that’s left is me, myself, and my insecurities, my fears, and there’s nothing left to do but face them. I can now see clearer and life seems much simpler.
I now use the measuring stick I used to tidy as a measuring stick for my life. “Does this spark joy?” No? Goodbye! This may seem so simple, so obvious, but completely transformational. I highly suggest this book to everyone and anyone. We can all benefit from tidying away the attachments in our life.